Beck Has Urged Followers To Quit "Social Justice" Churches; Dr. King Was A Social Justice Preacher
The Washington Post reports:
Beck said in a recent broadcast that he did not intentionally choose the "I Have a Dream" anniversary for his rally - but that he believes the coincidence is "divine providence."
"Whites don't own Abraham Lincoln," he said. "Blacks don't own Martin Luther King. Those are American icons, American ideas, and we should just talk about character, and that's really what this event is about. It's about honoring character."
The event will be filled with irony as Beck and Palin stand against so many of the values Dr. King preached about. Beck told his radio program listeners on March 2nd:
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words.”“Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church,” he said, referring to President Obama’s former pastor in Chicago. “If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop.”Beck would have hated Dr. King, who preached in 1966 a sermon entitled Guidelines for a Constructive Church:
This morning I would like to submit to you that we who are followers of Jesus Christ, and we who must keep his church going and keep it alive, also have certain basic guidelines to follow. Somewhere behind the dim mist of eternity, God set forth his guidelines. And through his prophets, and above all through his son Jesus Christ, he said that, "There are some things that my church must do. There are some guidelines that my church must follow." And if we in the church don't want the funds of grace cut off from the divine treasury, we've got to follow the guidelines. (That’s right) The guidelines are clearly set forth for us in some words uttered by our Lord and Master as he went in the temple one day, and he went back to Isaiah and quoted from him. And he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me (Yes, sir) to preach the gospel to the poor, (Yes, sir) he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, (Yes) to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." These are the guidelines...
...the church, if it is true to its guidelines, must preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Yes, sir, Make it plain) You know the acceptable year of the Lord is the year that is acceptable to God because it fulfills the demands of his kingdom. Some people reading this passage feel that it’s talking about some period beyond history, (Make it plain) but I say to you this morning that the acceptable year of the Lord can be this year. (Yes) And the church is called to preach it.
The acceptable year of the Lord is any year (Amen) when men decide to do right.
The acceptable year of the Lord is any year when men will stop lying and cheating. (Amen, Make it plain)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when women will start using the telephone for constructive purposes (Yes) and not to spread malicious gossip and false rumors on their neighbors. (Right)
The acceptable year of the Lord is any year (Any year) when men will stop throwing away the precious lives that God has given them in riotous living. (Make it plain)
The acceptable year of the Lord (Yes) is that year when people in Alabama (Make it plain) will stop killing civil rights workers and people who are simply engaged in the process of seeking their constitutional rights. (Make it plain)
The acceptable year of the Lord (Yes) is that year when men will learn to live together as brothers. (Yes, sir)
The acceptable year of the Lord (Yes) is that year when men will keep their theology abreast with their technology.
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when men will keep the ends for which they live abreast with the means by which they live. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year (That year) when men will keep their morality abreast with their mentality.
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year (Yes) when all of the leaders of the world will sit down at the conference table (Make it plain) and realize that unless mankind puts an end to war, war will put an end to mankind. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord [clap] is that year when men will beat their swords into plowshares, (Yes) and their spears into pruning hooks: and nations will not rise up against nations, neither will they study war anymore. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year (That year) when men will allow justice to roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when we will send to Congress and to state houses of our nation (Yes, sir) men who will do justly, (Yes) who will love mercy, (Yes) and who will walk humbly with their God. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year (Yes, sir) when every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain will be made low; the rough places would be made plain, and the crooked places straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when men will do unto others as they will have others do unto themselves. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when men will love their enemies, (Yes) bless them that curse them, pray for them that despitefully use them.
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when men discover that out of one blood God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. (Yes)
The acceptable year of the Lord is that year when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess the name of Jesus. And everywhere men will cry out, "Hallelujah, hallelujah! The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah, hallelujah!"
The acceptable year of the Lord is God’s year. (Yes)
These are our guidelines, and if we will only follow the guidelines, we will be ready for God’s kingdom, (Yes) we will be doing what God’s church is called to do. We won’t be a little social club. (Make it plain) We won’t be a little entertainment center. But we’ll be about the serious business (Yes) of bringing God’s kingdom to this earth.
It seems that I can hear the God of the universe smiling and speaking to this church, saying, "You are a great church (Glory to God) because I was hungry and ye fed me. You are a great church because I was naked and ye clothed me. You are a great church because I was sick and ye visited me. You are a great church because I was in prison and ye gave me consolation by visiting me." (Yes, sir) And this is the church that’s going to save this world. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me (Yes) because he has anointed me to heal the broken-hearted, to set at liberty them that are captive, (Amen) and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Beck and Palin would term such preaching as "communism" or "socialism." Beck would have told people to leave Dr. King's church because he preached "social justice".
Martin Luther King III wrote today in The Washington Post about his father:
Throughout his life he advocated compassion for the poor, nonviolence, respect for the dignity of all people and peace for humanity.
Although he was a profoundly religious man, my father did not claim to have an exclusionary "plan" that laid out God's word for only one group or ideology. He marched side by side with members of every religious faith. Like Abraham Lincoln, my father did not claim that God was on his side; he prayed humbly that he was on God's side.
He did, however, wholeheartedly embrace the "social gospel." His spiritual and intellectual mentors included the great theologians of the social gospel Walter Rauschenbush and Howard Thurman. He said that any religion that is not concerned about the poor and disadvantaged, "the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them[,] is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial." In his "Dream" speech, my father paraphrased the prophet Amos, saying, "We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
The title of the 1963 demonstration, "The Great March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," reflected his belief that the right to sit at a lunch counter would be hollow if African Americans could not afford the meal. The need for jobs and shared economic prosperity remains as urgent and compelling as it was 47 years ago. My father's vision would include putting millions of unemployed Americans to work, rebuilding our tattered infrastructure and reforms to reduce pollution and better care for the environment.
Palin and Beck dishonor Dr. King's memory and the Christian faith with their rhetoric and their rally.
Related Post: Listen to my sermon from January 2010 - If You're Out There: A Sermon Honoring The Life and Ministry of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - here:
(some browsers - like Firefox or Google Chrome - will allow you to simply click on the link and listen...otherwise click with the RIGHT mouse button on the hyperlink and choose “Save Target As” and save to your desktop or other folder – once downloaded click on the file to listen).
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